The ‘glue’ that brings the team together

Mt. Hood’s Anderson leading by example on the court

“If you want to get ahead in this world; come to work early and stay late.”

Those are the words that Saints sophomore forward Luke Anderson has always lived by. His dad, Lee, preached that to him growing up. Lee did more than just say it, though – he lived it, and Anderson saw that.

Anderson is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and a workhorse on the basketball court, much like his dad is in the office. Anderson has always admired his dad’s drive, he said: “He’s the hardest-working person that I’ve ever met. I’ve learned a lot from him, especially his work ethic.”

Anderson has taken the words his dad had ingrained into his head and applied them to basketball, by regularly showing up to practice an hour early. Putting in the work has always been something he’s done.

“Nothing was ever handed to me. I’ve always had to work for everything,” he said. “And that’s something I’ve learned from my dad.”

Anderson’s dedication to basketball has made him a leader on the Saints team this year, someone they can look up to. His isn’t the loudest voice on the court, but he leads by example. “I’m not the most vocal, which I know that’s what (the Mt. Hood coaches) want me to be, but it just comes naturally to me to lead by example.

“I’m gonna try to do the right things the right way, and my teammates see that,” he added. “I’m trying to work on leading vocally and getting on people, but it’s tough for me. That’s something I still need to work on, definitely.”

Saints head coach John Hawley couldn’t agree more about Anderson’s attributes.

“Luke is a quiet-type leader… (But) his presence, people just look up to Luke,” Hawley said. “He’s that solid force; when Luke’s in the ballgame it just seems to bring those other four players (together).

“I really think he’s just that glue that does it” for the team, he said.

One of the big ways Anderson leads the Saints is by working hard in the paint. He does all the hard, physical work that no one else wants to do, such as boxing out and getting rebounds. He explained what he’s thinking about on the court.

“Everyone loves scoring, but I like finding different ways to contribute. Not everyone likes to just go out and grab rebounds, but everyone wants to score 20 (points). So, I try to do the little things,” he said.

Anderson is averaging 26 minutes a game, snatching eight rebounds and scoring 13 points a game. Those eight rebounds is no small feat, and it puts him 12th among all the NWAC. While not the tallest of players, he’s able to get an advantage over his opponents.

“I box out, and I think it just comes down to who wants the ball more. And I feel like I just want it more,” he said. “I go after it hard even if they’re bigger than me. They might get some over me, but I just do what I can.”

Anderson said he’s learned a lot from Hawley and gives him high praise for the opportunity to be a Saint. “I’ll always be grateful for him giving me a chance to play here,” he said.

He plans to play college basketball next year for someone else; he’s not sure where, but his heart still loves the game. And it’s been his goal since he was just a kid playing in the driveway with his older brother, he said – to play at a four-year college.

Point guard John Tibbs is seventh in the league in assist with 4.7 per game.

Point guard John Tibbs is seventh in the league in assist with 4.7 per game.

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